November 2014

Message from the Editor


Following the professional development that resulted from this year’s Skills Development Conference and the possible personal regret from Halloween festivities, November marks a time for many new JETs when things are finally beginning to fall into place. Much anticipated plans for winter vacation are being made in an effort to forget the fact that most of us won’t be attending the usual day long family and sports celebration known as Thanksgiving. Yet, even though that mouth-watering turkey might have to be replaced with a subpar chicken this year, with its two three-day weekends, November provides another great opportunity to create a stronger sense of community and family with other neighboring JETs. So make that Facebook event, have people over, run to Costco, and after these three months of settling in, make Japan that place so many others already call home.

As for Hyogo Times, we’ve kept busy by continuing to find places and events to make that four-letter word a reality. This month read a number of reviews from our usual contributors as well as from our very own Layout and Graphics Editor, Erika Horwege, who shares two unique spots for viewing the autumn leaves and one of her favorite craft beer restaurants in Hyogo. Ryan Hertel also gives us an insider’s look into a few of Japan’s niche bars, promising a different and often much more exciting time than your routine gaijin bar. Finally, Brandon Yanari brings us into Japan’s growing electronic dance music scene with his review of Ultra Japan. However, this month isn’t all about amazing restaurant and travel finds, Rackle and Louie continue to provide insight into effective classroom techniques, which tie in perfectly with the knowledge gained in Awaji. Lastly, check out our newest section, the Prefecture Spotlight, where Kagoshima’s very own Shane Allen describes what makes Kagoshima such a wonderful place to live and visit for any ALT.

Although last month many of us were able to catch up with JETs we haven’t seen in ages or meet completely new ones, let’s not forget to build ties in our own communities here in Japan. Yes, it’s important that we try and strengthen the JET community through HAJET events or simple weekend outings, but immersing ourselves into the Japanese language and culture is just as important for making our time here worthwhile. Investing in your city, town, or neighborhood will in most cases always provide a positive return. As a friend once said, “I just gave the city life, it ain’t about who did it first. It’s about who did it right.”






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